Topical Prescriptions What Kind Of Doctor Should I See For Toe Nail Fungus
A variety of effective items are readily available, such as efinaconazole , tavaborole , as well as ciclopirox .
You may need to apply everyday for a long time prior to you see recognizable results.
Because they zap fungi externally of the nail, these products may work for early, surface fungal infections. The surface of the nail may require to be submitted to enable them to get to much deeper in. A research study uncovered that they had a remedy rate of around 35%.
What Are The Causes Of Toenail Fungus
Essentially, there are three types of fungus that can cause toenails to become infected: yeast, mold, and dermatophyte. A yeast toenail infection is usually white, a mold infection is generally a dull brown, and a dermatophyte infection is generally yellow. These various causes have different treatment options, so its important to find out exactly what kind of toenail fungus you have before taking any severe measures to treat it.
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Deformed Or Brittle Nails
A violent toe-stubbing, dropping a heavy object on the toe or some other trauma can injure the nail bed and cause the nail to grow in a deformed way. The nail may be thickened or ridged. It is a normal ageing process for nails to thicken.Deformed or brittle toenails can benefit from regular professional attention. Trimming, shaping and nail care from a podiatrist can improve the health of your toenails and help diagnose and treat more serious nail problems.
What If I Have Black Spots On My Toenails
Many people think that black spots are related to toenail fungus, but Dr. Wagenseller says, Black spots on the toenails are most likely due to trauma, especially if there is a purple hue to them. Try to remember if youve stubbed your toe, dropped something on your foot, or otherwise injured the area around the nail. If you cant seem to remember an injury or you notice these black spots appearing regularly, this may be a warning sign of a more serious condition. According to Dr. Wagenseller, If a black spot on the toenails involves the adjacent cuticle, it should be evaluated by a dermatologist. This can be a warning sign of melanoma in some, but not all, cases.
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Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The Internet is filled with anecdotal information on how to cure toenail fungus using home remedies. Vinegar is a commonly recommended home remedy. Some people apply various oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, essential oils, and oil of cedar leaf to their nails as well. The effectiveness of these home remedies is highly doubtful. Application of household bleach and hydrogen peroxide is also not recommended due to lack of evidence that these treatments work. These agents can also cause unwanted skin irritation. Thickened nails that have been affected by fungus can be difficult to trim. Using topical urea cream will soften the nail and make it easier to trim. These creams do not require a prescription.
Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails
Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.
In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.
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What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
When Should You See Your Doctor
A black toenail doesnt necessarily require a doctors visit the need for medical treatment depends on the initial cause. Knowing the cause can help you make this decision. On the flipside, if you dont know the cause, its a good idea to see your doctor just in case your black toenail is a sign of a serious medical condition.
Not all cases of toenail fungus require a doctors visit. However, if you also have diabetes, you should see your doctor for treatment.
A dermatologist can also help diagnose and treat black toenail. Youll need to see a dermatologist if you suspect melanoma. However, if your black toenail is caused by another underlying health issue, such as diabetes, then youll also need to see your primary doctor to treat the cause.
Any black toenail that doesnt go away should be looked at by a doctor. If youre concerned about your black toenail and dont already have a dermatologist, you can view doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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What Happens If You Dont See A Doctor For Toenail Fungus
Severe toenail fungus can lead to some serious issues, especially if you already have the pre-existing conditions listed above.
Toenail fungus, if left untreated, can lead to permanent disfiguration of the nail and infections that spread to other areas of the body, such as foot ulcers or even bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
Bacterial cellulitis is a skin infection, characterized by a red, swollen area that is hot to the touch. This can quickly spread to other tissues below the affected area and into the bloodstream. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening.
Your feet carry you throughout your life. Why not take good care of them?
When You Must Visit A Foot And Ankle Doctor For Your Toenail Fungus
If you feel like the situation has gotten out of control and you have not seen any progress with your symptoms after applying the home treatments, its time to pay your doctor a visit.
In extreme cases, you might be experiencing these symptoms. If so, please visit your doctor immediately to care and treat your toenail fungus. Look out for these symptoms:
- A swollen toe turns red with discoloration or becomes tender to the touch.
- Your toe feels hotter than the rest of your body.
- If the infected toe and/or the surrounding area of the toe is starting to leak pus.
- Red streaks around the infected toe.
- If you develop a fever of 100.4 F or higher, then the infection is moving to the rest of your body.
- The infected nail spreads to the skin.
- Intolerable pain
Once you see your doctor and they have indeed diagnosed the fungal toenail infection, they can do a few things to alleviate the pain, discomfort, and get rid of the infection.
Normally, the treatments and cures associated with the infection are oral prescriptions. Also, prescription anti-fungal nail polish soothe your nails. The polish rids your nail of fungal properties. Strength nail cream can also be applied directly to the area that will clean everything up and keep your feet and nails protected.
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Podiatrists Clear Strategy To Treat Toenail Fungus
The podiatrist will be interested to know how long you have suffered from the problem and what treatments you have pursued so far. This helps her to understand the magnitude of the problem and treatment factors you have considered. A full medical history is important to rule out underlying health issues that could interfere with the oral medication given.
The doctor will physically examine the nails to determine the extent of damage and the color.
Just by conducting a physical exam, the doctor cannot conclude that you have a fungal nail infection. They need to eliminate the possibility of it being yeast or mold. The doctor scrapes under the nail to harvest samples and send them to the lab. This will help the doctor prescribe the best course of treatment once the problem is identified.
The doctor can recommend oral treatments aseffective and they may take up to three months to work such as Sporanox, Diflucan, and Lamisil. The treatment could have unpleasant side effects such as skin problems, stomach upset,and liver damage. If you have an existing liver problem you cannot tolerate oral medications.
This non-invasive treatment is offered by podiatrists and it works quickly. The laser kills the fungus attacking underneath the nail without damaging the nail itself. This is considered as an effective treatment.
How To Treat Severe Nail Fungal Infection
Some people opt not to do anything about their nail fungal infection because they are not bothered by it at all, or at least they have adapted to live with the condition. However, it is recommended that the infection is treated immediately because it might get worse.
For severe nail fungal infection cases, treatment is necessary. In such cases, the infection may even spread to other parts of the body and will compromise the overall health of the patient.
Doctors are likely to prescribe oral fungicidal medicines to treat severe nail fungal infections depending on the patients condition, medical history, other ailments, and restrictions. While oral treatments are generally considered effective, but they are slow in delivering results and they come with side effects. Therefore, doctors take into consideration their patients individual health records in prescribing oral fungicidal medications.
Its not the most common solution, but surgery is also sometimes recommended for extreme cases of onychomycosis. A part of the nail or the entire nail can be removed in the surgery, which can be done in a clinic or in the doctors office. By removing the nail, the fungi infection is also removed, allowing a new and healthy nail to grow back. It takes time for the new one to grow fully, though, and the fungi may even return during the recuperation period.
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Know Not To Be Afraid
Surgery can be nerve-wracking and scary. Nobody likes pain, hospitals, scalpels, cuts, and anesthesia. The whole idea can be very unpleasanteven reading about it can turn the stomach!
But, it is very important to remember that thousands of people have experienced nail removal and have lived to tell about it! While there may be some discomfort and pain following the procedure, if a qualified doctor or other medical professional has concluded this is the best treatment for your specific problem, let that give all the comfort it should. We are very blessed to live in a world where so many health problems can be easily corrected!
Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
There are various symptoms to watch out for when you are trying to self-diagnose toenail fungus. These symptoms can include:
- The toenail becoming brittle and ragged with edges that seem to be crumbling.
- A thickening of the toenail that is more than normal.
- The toenail growing into a distorted shape and thickening as it grows.
- When the nail turns a darker shade because of trapped dirt.
- There is a foul smell coming from the nail itself.
- The toenail is turning a different colorlike a yellow-brown or a white-yellow.
If you are experiencing any or more of these symptoms, it might be time to try some home remedies or treatments. You can either deal with them at home, by using over-the-counter medications like nail creams or ointments. Or you can alter the nail yourself and then add the medication. Altering the nail may include thinning it down with a file or trimming it down with a clipper or nail scissors. Being able to get to the infected parts of the nail is important when applying medicine.
Dont get to this point if you can. There are a few preventative care measures you can take right now of your nail:
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What Are The Treatments For Black Toenail
Fungal infections of the toes are relatively treatable at home when caught early. Over-the-counter ointments, creams, and polishes are usually effective. Severe cases may require a prescription antifungal treatment.
If a black toenail is caused by an injury, the resulting spot from broken blood vessels will disappear once your nail grows out.
Black toenail caused by trauma from an injury usually resolves on its own without treatment. However, if your toenail grows out and it still appears black, then the symptoms might be related to another underlying cause.
Toenail discoloration related to diabetes and other health conditions requires treatment for the underlying causes.
Know It May Have To Be Permanent
At this point, if he or she has not discussed this with you earlier, the doctor may recommend that you have the nail permanently prevented from growing back. This is only done in severe cases of fungus or other disorders where the problem would simply keep occurring if the nail grew back.
To do this, the doctor must destroy the nail matrix, which is the part of the toe that produces keratin, the element that toenails are made of.
The matrix can be dissolved chemically, which is the most common. This is called chemical cauterization, and involves the application of a chemical called phenol. Occasionally, some patients report their nails growing back, but generally this method is effective.
If this does not work, your doctor will perform a surgical matrixectomy. A flap of skin is surgically created at the base of the nail, where the matrix is located. After retracting the flap, the matrix is surgically removed.
When Should I See A Bethesda Or Springfield Podiatrist
If you have a condition that compromises your immune system, home treatments and remedies may not be a viable option to begin with, so its important to see a podiatrist right away to avoid complications and minimize risks. For healthy individuals, home treatments may help to get rid of the fungus, but they are never a guarantee.
If you find that you have stubborn toenail fungus that wont go away with home treatments or you need to see a podiatrist because you have diabetes or another condition, Dr. Paul Ross can help! Please dont hesitate to give us a call at .
The Podiatry Centers located in Bethesda, Maryland and Springfield, Virginia treat all medical and surgical foot and ankle conditions. Licensed Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross can help bring you foot and ankle pain relief.
Our Bethesda, Maryland and Springfield, Virginia Podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Woodbridge VA, Fairfax VA, Annandale VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA, Burke VA, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Silver Spring MD, Rockville MD and Chevy Chase MD.
Return to a pain-free life and get back to the things you love!
How Does A Nail Fungus Start
Nail fungus infection is a common dermatological disorder that begins either under the nail or in the nail itself. It is mostly caused by a dermatophyte fungus, though there are cases that it is caused by Candida yeast as well. Also called onychomycosis, the condition affects both fingernails and toenails, though it is more prevalent in toenails. Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, which perhaps describe a lot of footwear. Nail fungus infection can also start with the same dermatophyte fungus that causes athletes foot, the Trichophyton. So when a person has athletes foot, its also likely that the fungal infection would spread to the nails.
Fungal infection gives nails an abnormal appearance. The first sign of it may be a discolored dot on the nail or the skin under the nail. There may be white or yellow streaks on the nail, a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, flaking on the nails surface, yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, and scaling under the nail. The infected nail may also be thickened or brittle, and it may detach from the nail bed. In some cases, there may also be odor coming from the infected nail.
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